Watching Stars Die: The Hunt for Supernova Progenitors
Roughly once per second in the observable Universe a star ends its life in a
catastrophic explosion called a supernova. Astronomers have long believed that
only Nature's most massive stars -- roughly 1 out of every 400 that is born --
will end in this dramatic manner. This theory is finally being directly tested
through the careful examination of images of the stars taken before the
explosion occurred with the Hubble Space Telescope. Professor Leonard will
share the results of these studies with us -- shocking surprises and all!
Douglas Leonard is Associate Professor of Astronomy at San Diego State
University. Dr. Leonard received his B.A. in astronomy and astrophysics from
the University of Pennsylvania, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in astrophysics from the
University of California, Berkeley. His publications include over 75 articles
in the technical literature. A passionate science educator, his latest
endeavors include work on several BBC/Horizon and Science Channel videos on
black holes, cosmology, and the deaths of stars.
"What's Up?" in this month will be presented by Craig Bobchin